Home Business The Socceroos win brought me back to the penalty spot in 2005

The Socceroos win brought me back to the penalty spot in 2005

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I remember as a child making penalties. I remember walking, my legs were shaking. I missed that penalty and we ended up losing – at the time I was 14 in the Under-17 Cup. After the game I felt like I had let my team down. I told myself I would be ready when the opportunity arose again.

Fifteen years later, the walk was completely different. I felt like I was slipping to the penalty spot. I knew what to do and had no doubt about how I was also going to hit the ball. The noise in the stadium sounded so far away, almost like somewhere else. I went through my process: head over the ball, punch and punch to the point. I knew it was time to make a shot.

John Aloisie celebrates that he scored the winning goal in a penalty shootout between Australia and Uruguay in 2005.Credit:Getty Images

The players had similar confidence on Tuesday. I could feel it, you could just see how they were – not only in the shootings but also during the game – they believed it was their moment, you could see that in the party they felt light.

There was a vision of Redmain talking to Socceroos coach Graham Arnold during the break, and he had a big smile on his face. Just like we did in 2005, I felt they had faith: “yes, now is our time, we are going to the World Cup.”

Redmain probably doesn’t remember the exact moment. I don’t think so, but the memory will be formed from a vision he will see throughout his life – his holiday, his priceless facial expression afterwards.

Reflecting on the match, I thought about my current role as head coach in the A-League. Many of these players got their first professional opportunity in the A-League, those abroad – Aziz Behic, Aaron Mui, Matthew Ryan, among others.

Goalkeeper Andrew Redman is celebrating after making a decisive save in a penalty shootout against Peru.

Goalkeeper Andrew Redman is celebrating after making a decisive save in a penalty shootout against Peru.Credit:Grid 10

As for Kay Rawls, who is only 23 years old, he is relatively new to the A-League and is only making his third cap. It shows the quality we have in competing in the A-League, and how far our domestic league goes. The future is bright.

The World Cup is the best sporting event in the world. I am lucky to experience this and I am very excited for the players who will be there in November when the Socceroos return to Qatar.

The nation will unite.

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Players will feel that all Australians are here to support them and support them. Like us in 2006, when we got into a tough group (Brazil, Croatia and Japan), they get into a tough group that has nothing to lose.

We’ll be outsiders, but that’s how we like it, and we’ll show our Australian spirit on the world stage. I am so proud of Arnie, all the players and staff – bring the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

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